We’ve finally done it after dreaming about it for three years: Minted has launched a unique, carefully curated selection of art prints from our talented global community of designers and artists. It may come as a surprise to lots of folks that inside the company, we have never thought of ourselves as a stationery retailer, but instead as a design community. With the launch of our art business, we’re thrilled to provide further access to exposure, income, and community to creative geniuses everywhere. We know consumers are interested in the work of independent artists; with Minted’s art collection, they can access the work of independent artists but also enjoy the trusted printing, paper, and customer service quality that Minted has come to represent over the past four years.
Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy at Minted's art launch party.
We are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to reducing the deaths of women and girls worldwide due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, the model, yogini, and director of the documentary film “No Woman, No Cry”. Christy founded the organization after experiencing a life-threatening complication during the birth of her daughter. Minted will be donating 50% of the sales of our children’s and nursery art collection to Every Mother Counts in the months of May, June, and December 2012, and 6% the remaining months of the year, all the way through May 2013.
To celebrate the launch of our art business and our partnership, Christy and I co-hosted a party at my home in San Francisco last week. Minted community designers ERAY (Eric Comstock) and Hello Hailey (Hailey Myziuk) were flown to San Francisco at Minted’s expense to attend the party, based on their performance in a recent art competition. I thought you might enjoy pictures from our very fun day:
2:30pm: Christy stopped by Minted headquarters in San Francisco to speak to our employees about maternal mortality and what they could do to help.
Art prints at Minted
Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted
(L to R): Janae Leininger, Mariam Naficy, Christy Turlington Burns, Niniane Wang at the Minted office
4:30pm: we traveled to my house in San Francisco. Minted asked interesting people from the technology and design communities to curate art from our collection, and we displayed their picks throughout my house. Jeremy Stoppelman, the founder/CEO of Yelp, Marissa Mayer, VP at Google, Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ and now amazing fine art photographer, Victoria Smith (the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay), and Alison Pincus, the co-founder of online decor site One Kings Lane, all picked beautiful curated sets which were displayed on the walls of my house (I’ll do another post about framing and creating those collages later!). When we walked in, this was Christy’s reaction to the art (you can see the wall she curated in the photo at right – her choices fit perfectly with the style of my home!)
Christy and Erin arriving at Mariam's home
Christy's curated art picks from Minted's collection
Christy changed into a very gorgeous dress, then we sat down to discuss details of our partnership. Here are Erin Thornton, the executive director of Every Mother Counts, Christy, and I sitting in my living room. Erin and Christy are incredibly bright, caring, dynamic women. The Minted team learned so much from them about global maternal mortality – more than one thousand women die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 90% of these deaths are preventable. Christy and Erin recently launched a No Mother’s Day campaign to remember moms who are lost every day, leaving families behind. We brainstormed ideas including fielding San Francisco and New York Marathon teams to raise awareness and funding.
5:15pm – Minted community designers Annie Clark, Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) arrived at my house – they were pretty excited to see their art up on my walls! It was really meaningful to the entire Minted team to be able to celebrate the launch with them.
Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) with Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy
Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"
Eric Comstock with his piece "Fun Games that Make You Laugh", which we hung twice in a row for effect.
Annie Clark with her piece "In a Row", which was chosen by Yelp's CEO as part of his curated picks.
Here I am standing in front of selections from Minted’s children’s art assortment, one of my favorite things we have launched. I think people have been looking for a personal connection to art for a long time. Our customizable art is still indie chic, but allows the customer to make it her own by choosing colors and text personal to her and her particular space. Our customizable art includes family trees, maps, wedding celebration art, and more. The children’s selection is fresh and modern, and includes a variety of customizable and non-customizable prints for children’s rooms and nurseries.
Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection
6pm – The party was in full swing, with an interesting mix of design, technology, and retail people turning out to see Minted’s art collection and to hear more about Every Mother Counts. All of our guest curators came to explain why they chose what they chose. Hiroki Asai, the head of graphic design at Apple, was there and a hit with the designers. Bloggers Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay were among those to make it to the party.
Ali Pincus, founder of One Kings Lane, and Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, in front of Ali's curated picks.
Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo
Victoria Smith, the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay, chatting with Mariam
Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.
Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer
And finally… here is a shot of the extremely hardworking, fabulous, intelligent Minted team at the party.
Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns
I would love to hear ideas as to how Minted can continually improve its art business and also how we can all help Christy and Every Mother Counts. Please feel free to leave your comments here!
PS – Minted prints art on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper. The initial offering will range in size from 5”x7” to 44”x60”. Crowd-sourced from an ever-growing community of thousands of artists and designers, the Minted art collection will be continually refreshed. All artwork is available in several colorways, in order to allow customers to match art prints to their home décor.
PPS – Except for the photos of the Minted team and Lara Deam, which were taken by Drew Altizer, all other photos were taken by Elisabeth Fall.
MORE AFTER THE